Interstat 51 was published in January 1982 and contains 18 pages.
- contains no interior art
- this issue has a reprinted ad from Variety, as well as some clippings, see Concerned Supporters of Star Trek
- Joyce T is pleased with both the success of the More McCoy fan campaign as well as the chance for her, and other fans, to speak their minds: During the letter campaign we were under a subtle, but constant pressure (from certain quarters) to keep our opinions to ourselves. It was as if the old "don't rock the boat" attitude of the fearful fifties had been suddenly revived. I don't know what brought this kind of mentality to the front, but I found that my real concern with the campaign became involved with the right to speak and with free dom of expression as much as with anything else. By the end of the campaign, in fact, the freedom to speak had become my main concern. After all, don't the people who paid to see the last movie have a right to at least give their opinions about what they would like to see in the next one? What possible harm can it do? I'll say it again: We are consumers, we have a right to say what it is that we would like to see. In fact, it would be a great insult to Mr. Bennett if fandom were to suddenly keep still about those things which are of major concern to the integrity and authenticity of the upcoming Star Trek. It would be as though we were saying "he won't listen" or "he'll just get angry". Mr. Bennett is a bright, talented man, and so he is certainly aware of the fact that he can only be helped by input from the fans. He is concerned about what is best for Star Trek, and so it seems only logical that he must be quite in terested, indeed, to hear the various opinions of those people who pay to see it. So, in the grand tradition of Star Trek fandom, I would encourage anyone to write to Mr. Bennett or Paramount should they feel the need to voice a Trekkish opinion. It's all in the spirit of free enterprise! One of fandom's beauties is that it encourages people to speak their minds. Even more beautiful is the fact that 98% of those people do so with intelligence and thoughtfulness. Difference of opinion makes for creativity and intellectual growth (as we see when logic and emotion combine in V-ger). It is my hope that this single most important aspect of fandom will continue forever, and that the dark, unhealthy shadow of "the fear of retribution" will never be a serious threat. Fandom will continue regardless, but the authenticity of filmed Star Trek depends on feedback from the fans. Ours is a world in which the corpora tion rules, and the day that we become afraid to voice our opinions about Star Trek will mark the day when Gene Roddenberry's creation becomes "something else" under that familiar trademark name.
- Cheryl K. G is pleased to hear Nicholas Meyer will be the movie's director: But mainly I figure that anyone who can satisfy even hardline, canonical Sherlockians as he did with THE SEVEN PERCENT SOLUTION and THE WEST END HORROR (he also wrote the screenplay for THE SEVEN PERCENT SOLUTION) should have no problem bringing us a TREK film we can really enjoy by building on the already existing framework. If anyone should know how a fandom feels about their sacred cows he should have had enough experience with Sherlockians to have that lesson imprinted on his memory. And considering I sometimes think you could invert and reverse Trekkers and Sherlockians and not be able to tell the difference that lesson will also hold true for ST. Maybe Paramount has done something right at last. Now if we could only get him together with Dorothy Fontana. So it goes.
- Don H comments on Jayne C's letter in a previous issue, saying that in his opinion, ST is more about the characters than she implies: If ST were little more than a boring white paper speculating and pontificating on what life and the ethical structure of the universe will be in the 23rd century, it probably would not even have been considered by PBS, much less NBC. It's like saying, "let's re-do 'The Rockford Files' and the emphasis will not be on the characters and their conflicts, but on speculation and pontifica- tion over the American criminal justice system and how private investigators fit into the conceptual aspects of this scheme." The secret of ST is that it did have strong characters to back up the equally strong ideas as embodied in the plots of the episodes.
- Linda L says that she and some friends were sitting around the kitchen table talking about "Spock's impending doom" and wrote this filk (to the tune of "Desperado") called "AN OPEN LETTER TO LEONARD NIMOY" -- an excerpt:
- Mister Nimoy,
- Why don't you come to your senses,
- Your rose colored lenses
- Will lead you astray.
- You're gonna kill him,
- We know that you've got your reasons,
- The contract that's pleasin' you
- Will hurt you someday.
- Don't you try to kill our Vulcan, boy.
- To rid you of that label,
- Remember that you owe him a great debt.
- It seems to us some fine things
- Have been laid upon your table.
- But you only want the things that you can't get.
- Jan M. M writes of Leonard Nimoy: in the past few issues Leonard Nimoy has been called heartless, egotistical, stupid, untalented, malicious, vain, ugly, and a murderer. And this is from his fans! Those who like him and would like for him to continue his role as Spock ad infinitum. WOW! What subtlety! Let's all get the man an IDIC and bludgeon him to death with it! Could it be that he has been silent because since the rumour has appeared he has been filming abroad in Israel and in China? Now I admit that I lack [Sue S's] expertise, but from the mundane view it would appear that yet another surprise rumour quashing appearance becomes a bit of a challenge under those circumstances. Perhaps no one ever mentioned the rumours to him. Perhaps he has more important things to worry about. Perhaps he is sick of the fact that so many people seem more ready to reason with cattle prods than queries... I have no more idea than anyone whether or not the rumour is true - but if it is true, could it simply be because Nimoy has seen something we haven't? The script. If no less than Roddenberry called it "hopeless" and "unsalvageable" it just might be that LN has no objections to continuing as Spock but strong objections to bad writing, inferior production and overwhelming corporate mentality - all of which Paramount has been guilty of and all of which it appears quite willing, even eager, to perpetuate in perpetuity. There are myriads of possibilities and the plain fact is that we will probably never know the whole story. Deal with the result - if Spock dies boycott the movie. I will probably join you-if only for the fact that it looks like a probable bust from here. But cruel, vicious and cutting remarks without facts show only how willing we are to expect the worst from someone we profess to admire. Whatever the truth might be that's scarcely the way to win friends and influence people.
- Joyce T takes on Susan S, Sonni Cooper, and WISH, citing the newsletter's lack of correct information regarding DeForest Kelley's presence in the next movie: The cold, "uncomfortable" fact is that in botching such an easily verified news item, WISH destroyed its credibility as a reliable source of infor mation. A reporter, to be taken seriously, must get his news straight. He must build a reputation for doing so. He must earn his readers' trust. This is where the present WISH officials have failed. You tell us that your associ ation with Mr.Bennett and company assures you of having "The Truth". Well? What are we supposed to believe? What are we supposed to think? Do you understand the implications of what you've said? Add everything up, and one can only conclude that it is you who have made Mr. Bennett out to be a liar. I, for one, am offended. I have great respect for Mr. Bennett. I can't for one moment believe that he gave such false information to WISH. (He did not—Ed.) Therefore, I must conclude that Sonni Cooper got the information elsewhere, that her source was certainly not reliable, and that she is evidently not as "on top of things" as many of us would like to believe. I submit that Mr. Bennett and Mr. Shatner have become unfortunate victims in your attempt to regain lost credibility. At present it appears as though that credibility has been irretrievably lost, but perhaps something could be salvaged if you would cease your demands that fandom accept unquestioningly the edicts of WISH. I assure you that the fans are quite aware that no one has the complete "Truth" where Star Trek is concerned. Not WISH, not the McCoy or Spock campaign people, not Gene Roddenberry — not even Harve Bennett.
- Randall L addresses Susan S: I'm afraid, madam, that you will cause the destruction of WSFF. You abuse too many people in your letters, and don't think people don't associ ate your opinions with those of the organization. Subconsciously, or consciously, they will, but that won't matter. You are still one of the upper hierarchy of WSFF, and so your actions will be viewed as endorsed by WSFF and by William Shatner himself. And if you say, well it won't matter, then I ask, is WSFF losing its memberships? A letter in Forum suggests that to be true. Then examine your actions, your patronizations in The Center Seat and the like, and see if you're the cause.
- Jackie E addresses Susan S: I, personally, resent being accused of blind adulation. As for a scorecard, I gave you one. Are you bleating about financial success while I am merely expressing personal enjoyment? Try reading the comments of others before offering up your own in rebuttle. It is not a turn of events for me to state that I am fond of Roddenberry's work...I've been doing it for years... the change here is that you are no longer praising, but rather belittling in what you have to say. Roddenberry is and always has been a friend to fandom; whether personally known or not, and it is unreal of you to think fandom would not spring to the defense of a friend. It was interesting, however,to read that you still admire this "plaster saint" because he is a "very human person." Though "he's done some lousy stuff" and "when it comes to flaws, he's got some beauts." I don't recall anyone saying that he couldn't be human. I am assuming that you refer to letters printed in INTERSTAT. If you refer to fandom as a whole, let me remind you that all professional people who are admired have the extremists...Shatner has them, Nimoy has them, and if Bennett creates a good StarTrek and develops a following in fandom, he will have them. Why dwell on it? Let us enjoy the man's works without making us out to b imbeciles unworthy of the space our comments are printed on.
- Sharon F is unhappy about the tone and content of recent zine reviews: Of late, extremely negative reviews of fanzines have appeared in FORUM and UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR. Having myself read the zines certain reviewers have been very critical of, I am left wondering what zine they read and what is behind their excessively negative comments. I think that Tigriffin believes herself/ himself to be the Richard Schickel of fandom. The other, [Celia B]seems to have been motivated by dislike of the editors of CHEAP THRILLS. What alarms me most about the reviews of these two persons is that they both are suffering from a serious lack of perspective. Fanzines are labors of love, why else would anyone write, edit, draw and publish. They are amateur publications done for fun, enjoyment, as a creative outlet, as a vehicle for communication, etc. Not every fanzine should be expected to be superb in art, writing, editing, printing. While each person wants to do their best, one person's best is not the same as another's. The two reviewers seem to have forgotten this aspect of fanzines. It is quite possible to review a zine and honestly report on its contents without losing sight of the fact that everyone involved in the fanzine is contributing for fun and entertainment. To write a review of a mediocre requires only tact, something these people are without. If a zine is not great, a review should strive to tactfully point up shortcomings, add suggestions, etc. In short, the review should be intended to help an editor work toward creating a better zine. In that sense, reviews, as they should be employed in fandom, should be long LoCs. Fandom (TREK) is something we have created; our guidelines do not have to be those of the real world. Schickel might write an acid review of a movie but his audience is composed of millions of people he does not know and to whom he really has no responsibility. In fandom, where most people know each other, a reviewer should have several responsibilities: one is to report on the contents of a zine. While the reviewer's biases are inescapable, they can be worded in such a way that a reader can make her/his own conclusions. Secondly, a review in fandom should seek to help as well as inform. Never should a review condemn.... As a reader of reviews, you have a responsibility to give a zine a chance to not simply rely on the words of a reviewer. A zine which is not very good will die a natural death and no one will be terribly upset: the readers will not have to spend the money for a poor zine and the editors will not have had a fair chance. Above all else, we should help each other. Write LoCs. Think about the stories and reviews you read. Make your own decisions about what is good and what is bad. Let no one dictate your tastes. Always remember, fandom is a place for people to think, create, experiment, practice, entertain and have fun, and supposedly it provides a medium that allows people to do these things in a friendly environment. Extremely negative, hostile comments should be left to the mundane world, let us create a more sensitive, caring environment here in TREK fandom.
You say "if it's well enough written, I can believe and appreciate just about anything—for a while." Does that include some scenario where Kirk resorts to bestiality or rape? Or where McCoy euthanizes half of the crew? Well, I can't believe these scenes, nor can I believe Kirk and Spock are gay lovers (neither can some of my friends who are gay and bi). I don't read it, and I don't intend to. Is this a "backhanded dismissal"? If so, then so what? It's my right to do so. Finally madam or sir, I do not believe I have been obnoxiously abusive to anyone who does believe in K/S gay stuff, and I am certainly remaining calm (if not amused) during the reading of your letter. It is my right to disagree with you, but apparently you don't agree with allowing me to express my ideas and tviews. So, please, don't add your voice "to the crowd screaming 'IDIC'" until you practice it. To Leslie Fish: Since I don't like K/S, and I feel K/S is not ST, then I can also say I think K/S belongs in the trash bin. It's just my opinion, but I'll stick to it. And regarding Lorrah's work, I've read Epilogue and NTM, and can say without a doubt, those are alternate universes but not ST in the real sense. Most fanfic is a.u. stuff. In my zine, I try to have the material approach aired Trek. Sometimes I make exceptions, and I certainly wouldn't get upset if someone said those exceptions weren't ST, even though some of them are truly masterpieces.
- Jan M. M addresses Sue S and Mary Lou D, and writes of her distrust of Paramount, and her trust in fandom: [Sue]: Spare us your patronizing, please. If we are to believe Paramount and previous officials what we witnessed before was the resurrection. Pardon us when we don't dance for joy like simpletons because now you've promised the second coming. If Ingrid had her doubts it is because Paramount in the past has scarcely proven themselves a paragon of honesty, quality or creativity. Their credibility ain't too high and your condescension is nauseating. Re Mary Lou D -No, Star Trek cannot survive without Spock. It can, however, survive quite well without Paramount, and so can fandom. Those days before ST:TMP don't look quite so dry in retrospect. A ST movie without Spock would be an animal of a different stripe, and with a different, younger cast it would be a whole new zoo. Can it be done well? Probably. Will it be done passably - even with Spock? As you may have guessed, I have my doubts. But fandom has kept Trek alive for many years and will continue to do so without the dubious benefit of more 'fair to middlin' movies. One more with or without Spock won't make that much difference to that. As far as profits or enjoyment go - without Spock Paramount might as well call in the dogs and piss on the fire. There won't be any crowd toasting marshmallows anyway.
Interstat 52 was published in February 1982 and contains 14 pages.
- contains no interior art
- Susan H wants some clarification: "Is there an exact definition for the difference between a "trekker" and "trekkie"? Does anyone else object strongly, as I do, to being referred to as one"
- Joan V comments on the practice of writing Locs: Most of the letters I've seen so far have simply said, "I'd love to receive Locs, please write," as if the problem is that fans don't know writers, artists, and editors like seeing LoCs. I think there's more to it than that. First, there's the effort involved. To select what to say and how to say it takes some work. I can spend anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours (spread over a couple of days) on just one LoC. Some fans can't pin down why they liked (or disliked) a piece of work; some feel that they don't know enough about techniques to criticize anything thoroughly. Also, once a LoC is written, finding the address of the writer or artist may take some work, too. Secondly, fans are unsure of the reception they'll get. It takes some courage, after all, to write a fan you know only by reputation, or have just run into a couple of times. Further, although many writers and artists take polite criticism maturely, there are some who'll give the third degree in response to the most tactful critique. Say you don't like a story, and the fan will give you one hundred reasons why you were wrong not to like it. Say you don't believe that Mr. Spock would find the Smurfs logical, and the writer gives you a hundred reasons why he would. And woe to you if the writer has gotten one hundred letters praising the story and yours is the only letter that criticized it. I complained to another fan reviewer, some years ago, that these ST fans might say they want reaction to their stories, both pro and con, but what they mean is, "You can say anything about my story just as long as you say it's great." And then there are a minority of fans who will respond to your critique by saying that random would be a better place without you (I was scared silly when I got this reaction, about five years ago). It is very disappointing to take all that effort to write a nice, polite critique, being careful to bring up both the good and bad points of the story, and then get broiled by the recipient. I have been told by a couple of former LoC writers that they quit because they were tired of getting roasted. I can't say I blame them.
- Judith G also writes about LoCs: On the paucity of LoCs: A discussion with a fellow-fan inspired the following practical suggestion. Authors who'd like to receive more LoCs: try writing LoCs of your own to other authors whose writing you admire or enjoy, and at the same time express your wish that the author will someday find time to comment on your work. Hopefully, she will take the hint and return the favor. Of course, it's possible that many authors would rather receive LoCs than write them, but remember that most people in the audience probably feel the same way, since in fandom authors and audience tend to be the same people. There are very few people in fandom who are not doing some thing creative of their own. If you want feedback and ego-boo, you should also be willing to give it. So authors, cast your own LoCs upon the waters, and surely the courtesy will be returned in kind.
- Jayne C addresses Leslie Fish, and comments on what she sees as conflict between the Idealist and the Cynic: Surely it wouldn't be too presumptuous to suggest that the people who are attracted to Star Trek are because fundamentally it satisfies or encourages their philosophies about the human race and the direction it can take if we do choose to "wish upon a star" by actually traveling to one. At the same time, no alert Trekfan can long be ignorant about the crass and often outright stupid machinations of those in power in television and motion pictures. A fan would have to be a true dreamer not to realize that Paramount Pictures values Star Trek-the-Property for reasons quite disparate from our own. I've been around plenty long enough to know that more than I'd like to. That is the cynic in me. The idealist in me is sorry to see myself (perhaps random in general) coming dangerously close to making Paramount and its executives the convenient scapegoat for every rumored threat to Star Trek's production and as having no credit whatsoever. The fact that it turned out to be Mr. Nimoy (understood to be on "our side") who requested the termination of Mr. Spock and not a Paramount Fury proved to me how smug I'd become in thinking the studio was in full command of an injuriously asinine mentality. Certainly, because we do not agree about what makes Star Trek a thing to be preserved, to be done again, Paramount Pictures is not our friend, but is it our enemy? An enemy understands the goals and ideals of its foe enough to actively seek to undermine or destroy them. Paramount does not or can not understand Star Trek fandom and its desires in the first place, so... I don't like Paramount, Leslie, or much of what it represents, but I do think that it has more intelligence and rationale than "a drooling pyschopath with a running chainsaw."
- Celia B addresses Sharon F regarding Sharon's letter in the previous issue that discussed zine reviews, one which suggested that Celia's poor review of Cheap Thrills was because Celia did not like the editors: I do not dislike the editors; I don't even know the editors....I also resent the comparison to Tigriffin. I do not make a practice of writing "hatchet jobs" to destroy fanzines and their editors. Read my reviews of DUET and THE PRIZE AND THE PRICE, in FORUM, for example. As far as my review doing any harm to CHEAP THRILLS or its editors, I quote you from a note sent to me, signed by [its editor]: "You'd be surprised how sales surge after such a review!" In view of that statement, I suggest that you check your facts before making anymore statements of that kind. Your statement that I lack perspective is completely false. My perspective is firmly rooted in having read several times every K/S zine ever published, and most ST genzines, old and new. I have considerable knowledge of the problems involved in amateur publishing. What makes you think, [Sharon F], that other K/S zine editors do not have the same problems of low print runs and overly moralistic printers? In most parts of the country, it is far worse. A little intelligent planning can usually lessen, if not completely circumvent, the problem in areas of high population density, and consequent liberality— like New Jersey and New York. I do not regard a zine as a static entity unless, of course, it is a "one-off". My criticisms were of a positive nature in that they could easily be used to improve the quality of the zine. I withdraw none of them. In fact, my actual feelings about CHEAP THRILLS are considerably more negative than I indicated in my review. Judged solely on the basis of the other zines by these same editors, it is an inferior effort. Furthermore, it was my understanding that the purpose of this K/S zine was to minimize costs. This may be so, but the saving is not being passed on to the zine-buying fan. Not at 7 [cents] a page (per side). Why are we being asked, for just one example, to pay for the same tasteless covers that issue #1 sported, when plain card covers would have been much cheaper and more attractive? I firmly believe that K/S zines have a special responsibility to their readers, to be as far above reproach as possible. There should be absolutely no hint of a situation where an editor might be taking advantage of the K/S fan's desperate thirst for more zines, and profiting by it, to the fan's detriment—even if this was not the editor's intention. We K/S fans are already derided and persecuted quite enough within media fandom because of our choice of reading material, and we are completely beneath contempt to a great many people. Don't fool yourself; it i£ true. A friend and myself happened to be very near the stage when Toni Cardinal-Price won the Fan Fund at Mos' Eastly Con, and we heard some of the resentment and nasty comments made at that time. It made my friend, [Jo T], quite ill and angry, it was then that we became convinced that that was the last time a Trek fan would ever win the fund again, especially anyone who happened to be K/S-creative.
- Judith G addresses Sharon F on the subject of zine reviews: [Sharon F](I#51) confuses, I think, two very different questions: that of personal attack in the guise of criticism, and that of the standards by which fanzines should be criticized. I agree that personal animus has no place in a review. But Sharon seems to go beyond that and urges that critics tone down even honest criticism on the grounds that the guidelines for fanzines "do not have to be those of the real world," fanzines "should not be expected to be superb," etc. Funny, I'd have thought that fan standards were higher than those of the pro stuff , at least inTrek. The best fan fiction, art,and poetry is indeed superb. And how are you going to discuss the work of a [Gayle F] and that of a Mary Sue Klutz in the same breath, the same review or any place in the same fandom if you don't apply the same standards? Isn't that doing rather a disservice to the [Gayle Fs] of fandom? I'd also argue that it isn't doing the Mary Sue Klutzes any favor, either.... Candid, vigorous, acute, and sometimes biting criticism is a healthy tradition in fandom which goes back at least to the zine reviews in Paula Smith's and Sharon Ferraro's old Menagerie. I strongly prefer to receive that type of critique of my own work. If I think a reviewer is coddling my fragile ego, I'm not likely to take her very seriously. (In fact, I may even decide that she's pretty dumb, the way my children do with adults who ooh and aah over work which they know is full of flaws.)
- Kay B has this to say: Over the past few months, some of INTERSTAT's letters have been disquieting to read. Why isn't it possible to debate issues without resorting to attacks on personality? It's difficult to understand the upset over Gene Roddenberry's minor involvement in the new movie. When ST:TMP was released, there was a hue and cry about its familiar storyline, the excess of its special effects, its lack of characterization, and its general overall boredom. Yet it was GR who was responsible for it. Not only was he the producer, but the basic plot idea was his. Furthermore, under his guidance, the film ran $20 million over budget! That it didn't lose money was due to the loyalty of the fans, not to Mr. Roddenberry. Is it any wonder that Paramount, a profit-oriented business, decided to change things the second time around? It does not follow that support of Mr. Bennett's efforts on the new film in any way indicates disloyalty to Mr. Roddenberry. It simply indicates support of Mr. Bennett's efforts. GR has described himself as "Star Trekked out" (August Party, 1981), so why not give HB a chance? Indeed, have we any other choice?
- Beth C announces that the William Shatner Fan Fellowship fan club has ceased: By the time you read this, it will be no news to you that Bill Shatner's fan club, WISH, has terminated. I, personally, was not happy with the general tenor of the letter-insert in the last Center Seat that made the announcement. The newsletter was the usual 'all is right with the world' message with the exception of a very small message of no new memberships being taken. The insert implied that the 'admiral's staff were just too busy and that there was a lack of interest in Bill and his career by his fans, thus explaining the termination. It also referred to Bill's time as a factor. As any celebrity's personal tragedies and losses get raked over the public coals, so fandom's institutions, dreams and losses are also held on public display. Many of us who have been members of WISH have watched and cringed as, in the pages of INTERSTAT, in personal talks with friends, at cons, and wherever Trek and/or Shatner people got together, our 'dirty laundry' was aired. Some of us tried to warn, some of us patched, explained, tried to find creative ways to help. Some of us got hurt, angry or disillusioned and gave up, There was unrest in the ranks—perhaps, a lack of wisdom in the hierarchy. But the end result—no matter the causes—was the same. It had ceased to be a working organization. The 'fellowship' part was fragmenting. Bill had a contract, in writing, with the powers that be within WISH. The contract had come to an end and it was time to re-evaluate. There was no sense in renewing something that was not functioning properly. As many of you have been witness, it was not improving, nor did the basic problems that existed show any signs of changing or rectifying themselves in the near future. Bill would have been stupid to have continued with it. That does not mean that Bill has rejected his fans. He has merely refused to renew a non-viable means of keeping in touch with them... Let us also remember that Bill has had some horrendous experiences with fan clubs in the past. Though WISH was head and shoulders above the rest, and for a good deal of its existence was a very good thing, it still failed to be a positive long term answer to Bill's problem of being just one nan to several thousand fans that love him—an awesome ratio. He needs something that works, and will continue to work long term, but if he did decide not to authorize another fan club right now, could we blame him? Just how totally essential is his authorization to a fan club? If Bill decides against having another club authorized, what things can we still do? We can still have a newsletter. We can still have world-wide membership. We can still do a great zine. We can still pool our pictures (I think—don't quote me on it, legally) for a yearbook. We can still raise money for charities to be given in Bill's name. We can still support his career. We won't have the personal touch; the absolute knowledge of what's going on. Expense will be higher, quality of items perhaps less, we won't be able to quote or infer Bill's approval of anything we do. But we still can have a quality place to have fellowship and to support Bill in every way we can. May I encourage all of Bill's fans & WISH members current or past, to take heart, take stock of what we still have, pitch—in an orderly fashion please—to the support of what remains—and smile I That shouldn't be too hard. Just think about something pleasant—like Bill.
Interstat 53 was published in March 1982 and contains 18 pages.
- art by Mike Brown
- Vel Jaeger gives an update on Kirk, see that page
- the editor includes an Open Letter, see Open Letter to Fandom by Teri Meyer Regarding Spock's Movie Death
- Judith G comments on LoCs: Bravo, [Joan V], for putting your finger on one of the major reasons why fans don't write more LoCs: the graceless way some writers respond to them. I think there are two very different reasons behind the reactions Joan describes. One is sheer defensive insecurity in the face of criticism—the kind that must have prompted the "roasting" Roberta received for the mild comments she made about zines nominated for the TrekStar award. The other reason is more complicated. It has to do with the fact that some fans write to set their feelings and fantasies down on paper. Fan fiction can be highly personal, and very close to the writer's heart. And if a writer's primary motivation is to get Spock into pon far, K&S into bed, or to turn Kirk into a deaf and blind quadriplegic, she may not want to labor long and hard over plot, characterization, or the classic literary unities. I know what Joan means when she says, "Say you don't like a story, and the fan will give you one hundred reasons why you were wrong not to like it." I've received that sort of letter. To me, what it says is that the author and I are just not on the same wavelength. Often, what the author is doing, in telling me I was wrong, is asserting the value of the emotions and insights that produced her story. At the same time she is saying that whatever technical literary flaws her story may contain are of less importance to her than those emotions and insights.
- Lynda C says that she's never gotten a bad response from an author regarding a LoC: There are criticisms and there are criticisms. If you write and say, "That story was the biggest bunch of crap I've ever read", you'd better be prepared to duck...fast. If you write and say "I'm confused by Kirk's behavior in your story. There seemed to be no reason for him to give up his command at the end. Did I miss something?", you're much more apt to (a) get a response from the author and (b) motivate her to take an objective look at the story and perhaps improve her technique next time around. If your ever-so-tactful criticism gets a scathing response, you have to be able to shrug it off, admit to yourself that some people can never accept criticism, and spend your LoC time and postage on someone more receptive.
- Lynda C discusses vocabulary: Yes, I get my hackles up when someone uses "Trekkies" as a generic term for all Trekfen. I recently read something in the general press... which said "the difference between Trekkies and Trekkers is mainly in the minds of those who consider themselves among the latter." I suppose that writer also thinks an astronomer is the same thing as an astrologer. A general-publication writer who uses the term "Trekkies" out of ignorance is practicing lazy journalism. It's a catchy word, and he/she has just never bothered to determine its meaning. One who is aware that there are two terms and chooses to ignore the difference is being deliberately insulting. In either case, their comments should be taken with a large grain of salt. They have already demonstrated that they don't know what the hell they're talking about and/or don't really care to find out.
- Lynne S weighs in on vocabulary: I'm not sure if an exact definition for the difference between a "Trekker" and a "Trekkie" exists, but I've sometimes heard "Trekkie" used as a derisive term to describe a fan who behaves in a childish manner or one who can comprehend only the most obvious facets of Trek, while "Trekker" is used to describe a fan who approaches Trek with a mature attitude, and is capable of understanding and appreciating the many layers of meaning within Trek. Some see nothing wrong with being called a "Trekkie": it's a label that's been around a long time, they're comfortable with it, and they do not take it to be an insult. Others object to the technical English involved, arguing that you wouldn't call a teacher a "teachie" or a golfer a "golfie". I prefer to be called a "Trekker", but if I see someone wearing one of those "I'm a Trekkie, not a Trekker" buttons, I'll respect their wishes.
- Michele A looks to the future: I'm afraid that I disagree wholeheartedly with [Eric S] when he says that the thought of recasting Spock is absurd. It isn't. Surely he doesn't mean in ten or twenty years when it's no longer appropriate for Shatner, Nimoy and the rest to portray Kirk and Co. that that automatically spells the end of Star Trek? Hardly. The characters would (and will) simply be recast, and the adventures of the Enterprise continued. If it can happen in twenty years and work, why wouldn't it now? I am not so foolish nor insensitive as to not recognize the contributions of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy to the shaping of the characters and personal interaction of Kirk and Spock; but Spock, to me, never has and never will depend on the body of the actor who plays him. He exists independently outside any one actor's persona.
- Laura L addresses Celia B's comments in the last issue, ones regarding zine reviews and costs: I am appalled by your attempt to compare zines on a cost-per-page basis. You seem to imply the more pages per dollar, the better the value. I, on the other hand, look for quality and its relation to the zine price. Obviously, my decision process (I assume you have one) differs from yours. Why stop at cost per page - why not cost per word (since one could have more pages by using ten pitch, wide-margin, etc.) or even cost per letter (since one could use lots of little words). Costs depend on print runs, the use of metal plates ($15 to $20 each), part of the US where the zine is printed (prices are higher in the New York Metro area! as my rent, etc. can attest to) as well as many other factors. The cost of Cheap Thrills is less than the average price (by more than one standard deviation) of the zines I have purchased in 1981. Consequently, Cheap Thrills has met the objective of providing a lower cost type zine. Your protests that no harm was done to Cheap Thrills or its editors assumes that harm is limited to financial aspects or number of copies sold. In my opinion that is a narrow, unrealistic view. Harm also can relate to slurs cast on the editors' integrity and intelligence. I suggest that you have caused harm in the latter. You state "the savings is not being passed on to the zine-buying fan" when describing Cheap Thrills. In the next paragraph you state, "profiting by it, to the fan's detriment." Since you did not specify which K/S zines you were re ferring to, was it Cheap Thrills (a logical deduction), and if not, what zines were you referring to? More important, what are you basing your allegations on? I assume you have audited their books or have specific financial facts to sub stantiate your claim. Do share this information with us. If you do not have those financial facts, you owe an apology to whatever editors you were referring to (if Cheap Thrills, Carol Hunterton and Helen Kobrin [sic]), and also to the readers of Interstat.
- Carol H and Ellen K address Celia B's comments regarding their zine: We had no intention of airing our differences with you in the pages of either Universal Translator or Interstat. But it seems that this decision was taken out of our hands by you when you so blithely quoted from a personal note of Carol's to you. Actually, the quote was the entire note, and was written on a postcard. I (Carol) wanted you to know that your unwarranted diatribe had little effect on all our readers, who have always been most discerning. These same readers sent us many notes of encouragement, indicating that they, as well as we, are asking, "What did these editors ever do to her?" They also are continuing to show their support by purchasing Cheap Thrills 3. If you persist in your condemnation of Cheap Thrills (and Out of Bounds), then you must condemn these loyal readers also. Such extreme negativism, smacking of overkill, tends to make the reader believe that there must be a personal element involved. Could this fanaticism concern only "no-frills" zines? Since you stated at the beginning of your review of Out of Bounds and Cheap Thrills 2, "I can only hope that they do not start a trend," you cannot possibly claim to have been an unprejudiced reviewer. Your statement that "the purpose of this K/S zine was to minimize costs... but the savings is not being passed on to the zine-buying fan" is ill conceived, specious, and bordering on calumny. You have no way of knowing, unless you are clairvoyant and have seen our checkbooks, how much it cost us to publish the zine. Your implication that we are cheating our readers is unworthy of a Trek fan. As to the comparison you made between Cheap Thrills and "the other zines by these same editors," you are trying to draw a parallel between an Almaden burgundy and a Taylor champagne: They are both domestic wines, but there the similarity ends, Cheap Thrills and Companion are both carefully and lovingly wrought K/S zines; there is no other basis for comparison, nor did we ever intend that there should be. There are many other points we could make. For instance, we could take umbrage at the criticism of our editing technique, but we noted the particulars that came before this criticism. We considered the source, and decided that any further discussion would be an exercise in futility. We don't want to get involved in a long-running imbroglio, and we don't have the time to be paranoid about K/S "witch hunts." To the readers of Interstat: After we had finished writing the above, we learned that another letter concerning Cheap Thrills can be found in a recent British publication. That article, written by another Chicago resident, [Barbara G], excoriates Cheap Thrills as completely as does [Celia B's], which it closely parallels. Recalling Homer's "God always pairs off like with like," we begin to believe that [Barbara G] and [Celia B] are in collusion with each other to defame, traduce, vilify us as editors, publishers. Trek fans and human beings. They may deny this accusation; but we are firm in our belief, as we and many of you have observed [Barbara G] in action on numerous occasions. To paraphrase a popular apothegm: "Just because we're not paranoid doesn't mean someone isn't out to get us."
- Carol B is not in favor of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for anyone: it really disturbs me to see this movement to put a "star on Hollywood Blvd" for William Shatner. Who really needs it? Does Mr. Shatner? If so, let him put up the $2,500 - he has it. In all fairness to him, I doubt (maybe this is wishful thinking) that his life will change one way or another. If he is so anxious to see work done for charity, surely he'd rather have a little plaque above some Humane Society saying his fans personally spayed 100 female dogs, or took care of the tuition for 1 blind kid. I could go on and on, but surely you get the point. I feel the same way about our other Star Trek stars.
- D. Booker comments on whether K/S fans are "pushy": ....K/S fans as vocal, organized and pushy? Well, yes, some of us are vocal, but that is a characteristic of a lot of fans, of recent issues of this zine. We do defend our particular interests especially when the opposition starts going on about "immoral, indecent, blasphemous perversion of the true writ of which I am the one true prophet, etc., etc." Organized? Not in the formal sense but K/S is a particular segment of fandom with a clearly defined interest that expresses itself in a limited number of specialized zines. The same people tend to read the same zines and thus get to know each other in a way that, perhaps, the more generalized segments of fandom do not any more. Pushy? Well, that's what they always say about someone who supports a new or unpopular idea. Analogy is not a very strong mode of argument but perhaps this will help. Ten or twelve years ago, SF fans thought that the Trek fans who had "invaded" their cons were "pushy" but most people in both groups have learned to accommodate each other. Some people will appreciate the K/S idea, some will tolerate it, some ignore it and some oppose it. But it is just an idea, not a conspiracy. (Though having suffered through a witless, acrimonious, and totally useless confrontation between two virulently anti-and dogmatically pro-K/S fans during a panel on "Adult themes in Star Trek"  at an East coast con 2 years ago, I can agree with those rational souls who wish the whole debate would die of the Linger Death.)
- Cathie W explains some things about Antithesis: Some events have transpired recently which have made me aware that there are some strange notions of our fanzine, ANTITHESIS, and its editors floating around out there. I'd like to make the following statements about the 'zine and our position in the hopes of clearing some of the fog surrounding us. 1. ANTITHESIS was a Trek 'zine devoted to the alien point of view. Mostly Klingon-oriented. 2. The Klingons were presented in the series as a Warrior race, and our stories were geared to follow that concept. 3. We were neither sex-nor violence-oriented. Our rating would have been at the worst, a mild PG. We never questioned [Roberta R's] right to vote for or withhold her vote from any fanzine. We did, however, take exception to the fact that she seemed to be questioning our right to appear in the nominations for the TrekStar award, especially when our nomination was in compliance with the rules of the contest. We never intended to imply that she held a position of power in East Coast fandom. We did try to remind her that anyone who gets into print has a certain amount of credibility. This has been supported both by a letter received by our Editor-in-Chief, Pat Spath, which offered a sex and violence story because the author had read in INTERSTAT that this was the type of story we printed, and the reply to Roberta's "retraction" which appeared in a recent edition of this newsletter. 6. It is only by straining my limited amount of charity to the utmost that I can say that Roberta exercised "literary license" in regards to our personal letters to her. If she received a "Death Threat," it was not from us. I have sent copies of our letters to Teri [the editor of Intersat], and she can corroborate this. 7. ANTITHESIS no longer prints Trek material. We are now oriented to SF, Fantasy and Horror, so the TrekStar Awards will be free from our malign influence this year.
Interstat 54 was published in April 1982 and contains 18 pages.
- contains no interior art
- Eric A. S writes:
- Randall A. L addresses two fans: Thanks, Don. I'm glad someone else agrees that a statement like "K/S is an alternate universe of ST "is not a back-handed dismissal. Now I think that K/S is absurd and I totally disagree with the concept, but I'll defend to the death anyone's right to say or print anything they wish as long as it doesn't violate anyone else's right. Thus providing a nice device to introduce the next para... Yes, [Barbara P. G], I am ignorant. That's why I'm a firm believer and supporter of the ERA, of civil and Human rights. I'm really ignorant because I dare to disagree with you. I'm ignorant because I happen not to believe in the homosexual concept of K/S, because I'm a Trek purist, because I believe in other people's right to print media zines which have varied contents.
- Terry S is tired: *SIGH* I don't know about the rest of you, but I think I may be suffering at least a mild case of "battle fatigue". Over the past several months, I (like many of you) have written dozens of letters and contacted everyone I can think of regarding the "Save Spock/Preserve ST's Integrity" campaign. Though my concern is still very real, I'm beginning to feel a bit manipulated, used... weary. I don't suppose I should be surprised, or even angry at all this Paramount hype — that's "show biz", I guess. I have no intention of boycotting the movie, nor do I encourage anyone else to do so. Yet, sadly, I feel my anticipation and enthusiasm for ST II gradually beginning to wane.
- Pat E, a new subscriber, comments: I have always felt that the decision whether-or-not to continue portraying Spock is Leonard Nimoy's alone, and that we in ST fandom have no right whatsoever to try to dictate to him, or bring pressure to bear on him, in this matter. I realize that a lot of people are upset this time around because there seemed to be a question mark regarding Spock's survival, but that wasn't the issue prior to "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" so there is obviously more to it than that. Why is it apparently so difficult, if not impossible, for a certain section of ST fandom to grant Leonard Nimoy the dignity of free choice? He is not in our debt, we are, on the contrary, indebted to him for what he has given to us in Spock. I cannot comprehend why some people would deliberately wish to hurt and malign him, and I hope that the great majority of ST and Spock lovers feel the same way as I. It appears that the question of Spock.'s fate has been resolved for now, but at what cost, I wonder, to Leonard Nimoy and to fandom.
- Roberta R explains, among other things, that "death threat" may have been an over-reataction: For the absolutely last time: I did not set out to insult, defame, debase or otherwise destroy any fanzine. fan editor, fan artist, fan writer, or fan reader, of ANY fanzine whatsoever! If certain persons had actually READ the original letter that started this ridiculous brouhaha, they would realize that my original intention was to protest what I felt was an attempt to by-pass a certain section of fandom. In the event, I was wrong — no such attempt was being made; it was simply that the publicity given to the award was such that some of the people most anxious to participate didn't get the chance, because they found out about it too late to either nominate or vote for their choices. On reading the list of nominees in the various categories, it seemed to me that there was a preponderance of certain stories and fanzines, which I did not feel was representative of fannish writing. Among those nominated — and, I might add, NOT in that latter category — was Antithesis. My feelings about Antithesis have always been most supportive. The editors offered their fanzines to me for the Paterson Fanzine Library. They have used one of my filksongs. I have never made any formal criticism of the 'zine except to say that I thought something else was better. If this constitutes libel or defamation of character, I was not aware of it. One of the editors of Antithesis says that she received a story she didn't want, because someone read that I said that Antithesis printed that sort of material. It is the prerogative of any editor to choose material by whatever standards they have set. If this piece did not meet the standards of Antithesis the editors had every right to reject it, on whatever grounds they chose. Now, perhaps "Death Threat" is a little melodramatic. But when I receive a letter that includes the words "legal action", I get a little nervous. Any such action that would involve my schlepping out to Pittsburgh, hassling with lawyers, paying their fees, travel expenses, etc., would be economic death. The thought of all the aggravation is sending my blood pressure skyward and disturbing my digestion. And anyone who saw me spooning away at the baby-food at the September Star Trek America will realize that THAT is Death! I am truly sorry if I inadvertently caused anyone any embarrassment or loss of income by my hasty words. I do tend to pop off in print from time to time. I thought that was what Interstat was for! I think I have the Final Solution to this whole sorry mess: Why don't we send off to "The People's Court", and let THEM decide who is defaming who? We'd all get a nice trip to California, it would publicize Trek and Trek fandom, and we could put the affair in its proper perspective. My best wishes go to the editors of Antithesis in their latest endeavors. I hope it becomes another Algol/starship, and sends both of you into the stratosphere of SuperFandom And now, could you please tell me why, if you are leaving Trek Fandom anyway, you are making so much fuss about an award for which you are no longer qualified? I'm waiting for the next chapter in this thrilling debate.
- Michele A writes: It is strange indeed when Bjo Trimble, a person who is still influential enough in Star Trek fandom to be interviewed by a large city newspaper, now complains (she actually seemed to find it offensive) when a prestigious publication like the Wall Street Journal devotes space to Star Trek. She wonders why it can't use its "pages for something more interesting." Methinks that an outrageous response, I don't want Spock to die in the movie, and I openly admit my bias as a long-time ST fan. However, when the unbiased Wall Street Journal is concerned enough with rumors of Spock1s death to devote a rather lengthy story to clarification of the issue, Star Trek and Spock might not be as trivial as Bjo would have us believe. I don't understand why Bjo has switched her loyalties away from Star Trek. If she is involved in another fandom, her discretion and silence on the matter would be appreciated. If she is embarrassed by the bad publicity surrounding Spock's death, then directing her comments to those studio production heads and cast members who conjured up this whole mess would be more appropriate... Frankly, with friends like Bjo Trimble around, Star Trek needs no enemies.
- Kay B wants to know what Star Trek is: When considering the idea of recasting the roles of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, etc., the question that once again surfaces is: What is STAR TREK? Is it restricted to one cast of characters on one particular ship, or does it have, or hold the potential for, a broader scope than that, with the ENTERPRISE and her crew serving only to represent Starfleet, the UFP, their goals and ideals? If the latter is true, then it should be possible and valid to shift our focus from the ENTERPRISE and The Big Three to the LEXINGTON and her crew, or the HOOD, or the INTREPID II, etc. It would, in fact, be my preference to do that rather than to recast the crew of the ENTERPRISE, an undertaking that could only be less than satisfactory and, for some of us, unacceptable. It has been argued that Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, et al. are essential to TREK, and that the characters must therefore be preserved at all cost. But the characters as we know them, their unique personalities and their special rapport with one another, are extremely dependent upon the people who have played them; the actors have simply contributed too much of themselves to the development of their roles... New actors in those roles, by virtue of being different people with different personalities and acting styles, would of necessity change the characters by interpreting them in their own way. And if this is so—that new actors would inevitably change the characters anyway—then why not simply change the names of those characters as well, put them on a different ship (there are 12 in the fleet) and let us follow their adventures? That way, no matter how long ST runs, or how often ships and crews change, we could still envision the ENTERPRISE and her original crew, out there, somewhere, still exploring that final frontier.
- Tim F also ponders the future of Star Trek: I think what we are going to see from now on is what we saw late in the original series—occasional brilliance, but in general, mediocrity. Even if in the creation of these motion pictures Paramount does stumble across a crew that "clicks" it's not going to be the same. The inputs are different, the people are different (even the ones involved in the original) so how can we expect anything but a different end result? And if they get a crew that "clicks"—so what? They make one great film, and get broken up for three years until the next one. Is that any way to guarantee creative continuity? Now, I'm not saying to write off the motion pictures outright, especially not on the basis of the death of one character as some of the more childish INTERSTAT correspondents have. But don't expect another "City...", and if we do get a good ST, don't expect it to be the same as the original. That is all but impossible with the state of affairs as they are.
- Helen Malloy and Karen Sue Kraft announce the start of a new William Shatner fan club: Helen Molloy and Karen Kraft (formerly the membership committee of WISH) have been given permission by William Shatner to begin a new fellowship on his behalf. We know many of you have been waiting patiently for news, any news after Sonni Cooper and Susan Stephenson cancelled WISH, we wanted to make certain that we had official sanction of William Shatner and a signed agreement prior to any formal announcement of a new club. We now have such a document in our hands and are forming the William Shatner Fellowship with Bill's blessing. Many people, Bill included, felt that with Star Trek II being released in June, a new TV series, "T.J. Hooker", and increased activity among the fans in the now defunct WISH, efforts should be made to continue communication between Bill and his supporters. The William Shatner Fellowship will publish 12 newsletters a year, mailed first class, and have photos and shirt decal transfers available for purchase. For your $8 membership fee (USA) $16 (foreign) you will also receive a membership packet, including an autographed photo, list of TV and movie credits, bio, welcome letter and membership card. We are continuing only one aspect of the former WISH...regional assistants remain the same. Each of them was becoming very involved in their respective localities. Because we will not be using the WISH membership list belonging to Creative Enterprises, we are requesting that all applicants andthose wishing additional information, write to [address redacted]
Interstat 55 was published in May 1982 and contains 16 pages.
- contains no interior art
- Tim F has a film update: I attended Dixie Trek '82 on March 27-28 and picked up some tidbits of ST movie news. Susan Sackett was there with a slide show and a 3-5 minute trailer from the ShoWest '82 presentation. Interestingly, she said just before rolling the film, and I quote, "I don't know where this music came from, it's something the director (Nicholas Meyer) found in the Paramount music library," (meaning that the music in the trailer isn't what we'll hear in the film). But, every piece of music in that trailer is either original series music or music from ST:TMP! Apparently, she doesn't know ST's own music. All of the actors and actresses looked very good. The "Canadian mountie" maroon jackets (which do come off) look nice once you get a good look at them. The few SPFX shots which were included in the reel were quite striking. Clark Terrel's ship, the Reliant, is quite thankfully an original design and not one of those atrocious Technical Manual ships. Dave Marcus, who is 22, is quite obviously Kirk's son from what we saw, but Ike Eisenmann was nowhere to be seen in any of the clips. Ms. Sackett said there is very little, if any, information on Lt. Saavik's background in the film. The story definitely occurs 15 years after "Space Seed", so I think the changes will be easier to deal with. I don't think anything as drastic as 'dismissing it as an alternate universe' is desirable or even necessary.
- Elaine M. B has some advice: I am a fairly new reader of INTERSTAT (two issues), but it seems to me that a great many (if not most) of the LoCers in INTERSTAT would do better to hold off on mailing the response written in the first rush of indignation over someone's 'provocative' letter. The best way to avoid saying IN PRINT some thing you don't really mean is to write the letter, saying everything you want to say exactly the way you want to say it (at the moment!), and then SET IT ASIDE for two or three days. By the time you get back to it, you'll most likely want to either re-write it, discard it and start over, or discard it altogether. I'm all for lively exchanges of opinion on a variety of subjects, but it is distressing to see such viciousness in a fan publication. Maybe I'm naive, but I thought we're in this for love.
- Randall A. L is not happy with a BNF pro-fan: I am concerned about Spock's death, and I don't consider myself a "dippie." Perhaps Ms. Trimble should stop promoting herself, should actually use her fan scene column in Starlog to talk about fandom instead of herself, and should keep her mouth shut. If she doesn't agree with the Concerned Supporters of ST, then don't bring them down. And I thought she was a "dippie" for saying such nonsense to the press.
- Sonni Cooper writes: Speaking of books: My Trek novel, BLACK FIRE (finally have a name for it) will be published sometime this fall. It's been a loooong haul. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have written to thank Susan Stephenson and me for our work with WISH. The club's demands were simply too much for us and we are both happily back to writing. I have not lost touch with Bill, however. I will be working with him in Birmingham and will be accompanying him to Houston in June. I hope to see many of you there to share the fun and excitement.
- Pat E sends his or her "second, and final LoC to Interstat: During the past ten years Leonard Nimoy has given me a great deal of pleasure through his writing and acting, and I deeply respect and admire him as the man of decency, dignity, sensitivity and integrity I believe him to be. I am repelled by the vicious attacks on him by certain INTERSTAT correspondents and contributors, and also by my own reaction to these people - namely a desire to lash out at them personally. Since I am convinced that, in the long run, those who harbor anger and bitterness towards others hurt themselves even more than they do those against whom such destructive feelings are directed I am going to withdraw from this situation now before I become even more involved than I already am. So I would appreciate it if you'd cancel the remainder of my INTERSTAT subscription. This past month or so has proven to be an eye- opener I could well have lived without!
- Doris L sends her first letter to Interstat: I was very sad to see WS's fan club fold. I think many of you fans quit for insignificant reasons and that helped the club go down the drain. I hope you are proud of yourselves. I won't mention any names, you know who you are. I didn't agree with everything said in the club newsletters, but I didn't quit. I wrote my opinion, because I like Mr. W. Shatner and will support him whenever I can. The club had the best news (and pictures) about him…. How dare you criticize us Shatner fans for wanting to pay for a STAR on Hollywood Blvd. We are doing it because we admire Bill and respect him and love him. It is a gift of love, and you do not ask someone to pay for a gift, even if he does have the money. You obviously are not a WS fan or you would already know he gives a great deal of money and time to charities, etc. I think it would be very nice to see his name on Hollywood Blvd., a gift from his fans. Did you see that neat color picture of WS in Electronics Illustrated? It was in the January & March issues, also some BW pictures in Computer magazines.
- Darlene L sends her first letter to Interstat: I've been involved in show business for more years than I'd care to admit, and one aspect of organized fandom simply astounds me with its naivete: the pure, innocent, and totally erroneous belief that letter-writing, article-publishing, or any other form of reactive protest will have any effect whatsoever on Paramount's production decisions. This is real life, and it just doesn't work that way, folks. Of course, Paramount is going to comment on the noise generated by fandom; it's the best kind of publicity there is. But only one form of protest can have any real impact, and that's withholding our dollars from the box-office. As one who is starving for the next ST adventure, I am not willing to do this; and judging by the volume and emotionality of response to the slightest rumor about the new film, you aren't either. Paramount knows we will all see it at least once. They are a profit-oriented corporation, and the box-office figures are their primary concern. In fact, the only thing Paramount has heard in the past ten years that they really believe is that we will withhold our dollars in the future unless they deliver Shatner, Nimoy, and the rest. It's an easy decision for them. If the actors are unavailable, why bother to do any ST at all, since we've said we won't pay to see it? Well, what's it going to be?
- Brian J comments: I can't help but worry that we are all going to be so worked up and so tense over this whole thing that we won't even be able to enjoy the movie. Everyone is so concerned about the fate of the characters that they are sitting there planning, griping and worrying months before the movie has even been released! I for one am content to wait and see before I worry too much about this whole thing. It is a sad thing indeed that Paramount Pictures cannot think of any better use for Star Trek fandom than as a publicity puppet!
- Barbara P. G writes of manipulation and publicity: Spock's death is/was real (I'm being hopeful) but it is also being used as a publicity stunt, and we (Concerned Supporters of Star Trek) are very much aware of that — have been from the beginning. (There can be two sides to any manipulation.) My theory is that Paramount decided to get rid of Spock, and was not really aware of the full impact that would have on Star Trek fans. Once they did realize it, I'm sure they saw that here was a chance for publicity that money couldn't buy! The first movie, whatever any of us felt about it (I still love it), was not critically acclaimed, and they need a hook to draw people back into the theaters for a second try. What better hook than the possible death of one of popular culture's most legendary heroes? Will he…won't he...step right up, folks, buy your ticket and find out what really happens! This is not paranoia, people, this is common business sense. Pocket Books is basing their advertising campaign on it! "We're the only ones who can tell you whether Spock lives or dies." This from the April 2 and 16th Publishers Weekly; a four page color spread, no less. But while it seems that Paramount is using us, it remains to be seen who was using whom. What we did served our own purposes (and many others' as well). we alerted the media to the possibility of Spock's death, and they were overwhelmingly "on Spock's side" (not just the Wall Street Journal, but the L.A. Times, the New York Times, and many other papers); because of their coverage, more and more people wanted to know what they could do to help save Spock, and Paramount received more and more letters. I am convinced that this pressure from fans and media brought about the changes from the first script I mentioned to the second, and could possibly have saved Spock's life — we'll find that out in June. But then, I'm sure that you… will tell us that we never had anything to worry about, that we made a lot of fuss over nothing. I m not quite so naive.
- Kerry C addresses two fans: I never said you had to read about it, [R]. I doubt very much that anyone has ever shoved a K/S zine in your face and told you that you HAD to read it. Just calm down. No one's going to force you. As to what constitutes "backhanded dismissal" … please also see my remarks to [Don H] re your obnoxious abusiveness concerning "K/S gay stuff".) Yes it is your right to never read one single line of K/S material if you so choose. It is also your right not to be reviled for this choice. There is no need to be so defensive about it. Likewise, however, it is my right to believe in K/Sf and to take issue when a fellow fan disparages it, and thereby me. So watch your tongue. [R]. Pay attention to what you are actually saying about K/S and its fandom and then try and tell me my complaints are not justified. And watch out who you accuse of not practicing IDIC. I have never once spoken of that segment of fandom which does not adhere to K/S in anywhere near the tone in which you have repeatedly spoken of the pro-K/S group.
- there is much discussion in this issue, and the last, about the pro novel "The Prometheus Design" -- Randall A. L has this to say: I am tired of the Enterprise crew saving the galaxy every other pro-novel. Hell, in my own zine, we've saved the galaxy only once or twice (in fifteen issues with an average of three stories each!). Why should the pro-novels save the galaxy every time, let alone the universe?!
- Brian L writes: I wish to temper the exuberance in my last letter regarding the apparent survival of Spock. My information up to that time seemed to indicate that our Vuloan lived or could be revived, and that we may have been manipulated to garner publicity for the new movie. All signs point more and more to something else.
Interstat 56 was published in June 1982 and contains 18 pages.
- contains no interior art
- there is a con report for the recent UFP Con, see that page
- Jean D, having been at the sneak preview showing held during UNICON I, at the Metcalf South Cinema in Overland Park, Kansas, reports on the movie: First of all, if you have read the newspaper or talked to someone who was there, you know that Paramount decided to go ahead with Spock's demise. Rumor has it that the studio had an alternate ending ready if the crowd reaction at the sneak showing was violently unfavorable. However, the general reaction — at least that I heard — was surprisingly favorable. I know that there were quite a large number of Spock fans in the group, but they seemed to take his death rather well. I heard no boos during the scene, but there were some sniffs. The theater was surprisingly quiet at that time. I have to say that what we saw was only a rough copy; according to producer Robert Sallin, the final cut is still being worked on. The sound was poor at times and the color and picture quality sometimes varied. But it still looked good. I can honestly say that, in my opinion, Trek fans will not be disappointed.
- Barbara P. G writes of a con in Scotland: While in Scotland I attended Shoreleave Con, a perfectly delightful small con which featured two TV channels in every hotel room, running continuous Trek episodes, movies, and other tidbits, like filksinging. It was seldom necessary to ever leave the rooms to do a lot of unnecessary circulating—unless you felt like it.
- Kay B comments on whether having different actors play the ST characters is acceptable: I haven't minded different actors playing Holmes, Bond or Lincoln, either (althouqh I do have my preferences). But that's because I've always seen them as playing those parts only. The characters themselves had existed very well on their own for a long time. That's not true of the ST characters. Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest have never existed without the actors who have played them from the beginning, and they are dependent on those actors for their viability. Eliminate the original actors, and the characters they gave life will be severely damaged.
- Bev C addresses a fan's earlier comment: I'm sure [Elaine B's] comment about Bjo Trimble was meant in jest, but it was an unkind jest, and not quite fair, as Bjo doesn't read INTERSTAT, as far as I know, and can't respond herself. I don't know Bjo well, but I have known her casually for nine years, and I strongly doubt that she would need the spurious ego-boo of seeing her name in the Wall Street Journal when she has real achievements, as a human being and as a fan, to point to.
- Roberta R writes of theft: For the last five years I've run a Fanzine Reading Room at New York Trek-Cons, and for five years nothing has been lost. I did the same thing at Creation Con in New York in March, and two very valuable items are missing: Spock Enslaved and Kraith Collected #1-4. Quite honestly, I don't think any readers of INTERSTAT are directly involved, but if anyone out there in the New York/Long Island area does happen to find them, I will take them back, no questions asked. If they are offered for sale, I would like to know about it. The Spock Enslaved is marked with a stamp for the Paterson Library, and the Kraith has "Other Worlds Books" all over it, and is in a brown plastic loose-leaf binder.
- Bev C comments on character development: Some other recent letters demanding that the characters be frozen also worry me. For one thing, this demand for unchanging characters and relationships is ironic in view of the fact that one of the major criticisms among fans of the pro ST novels from the beginning has been that they don't allow the characters to grow or undergo permanent change, thus automatically relegating the books to second-rate status as fiction.... Those shows that are good do show their characters changing, evolving, developing, however you want to put it, in reaction to their experiences, and fans have in general realized that. ST itself, though perhaps inadvertently, allowed its characters to change permanently — take a look at the growth and change of Spock's character over three regular seasons and one animated — and this was always one of the most attractive features of the show to me. The other shows I can think of that do, or did, the same thing, were shows like M*A*S*H; Upstairs, Downstairs; and Hill Street Blues. The first and the last have been extremely popular among fans and have spawned their own fiction, though hardly to the extent that ST has.
- Don H addresses Kerry C: Tell us, for example, what is so "viable" about the K/S homosexual premise? Simply saying it is viable doesn't make it so. And just where docs K/S relate the ST characters to the originals as they appear on TV? You chide [Randall L] for lumping together rape, euthanasia and bestiality, while at the same time, you equate love and sex as meaning the same thing. And if explicit bestiality is merely "eccentric" and devotion to gay sex is normal to you, does that mean that heterosexuality is the only perversion? For the sake of discussion, let's say that I try to convince a Gunsmoke fan that Matt Dillon and Doc are "really" qay lovers. My attempt to "prove" this would be to say that others also have this belief and that there is a "qoodly proportion" of fan lit devoted to this idea. And if the Gunsmoke fan dares to disagree or points out that this is contrary to the original as aired, he is then attacked as being "anti-gay" or "bigoted". I think that if people started identifying K/S fiction and some of its advocates as "anti-heterosexual", we would get around a lot of the misunderstandings on this subject fairly quickly. So-called "tolerance" has become highly vaunted these days and is apparently only for the "ignorant" Trek purists. To me, it's like writing the ST characters to be exclusively Moonies, Marxists, Sadomasochists or what-have-you. K/S people have the right to believe what they want, but it is ludicrous to demand that K/S fiction never be criticized. No other type of literature demands such special consideration and if it does, it deserves to be rejected on that basis alone.
- Brian G addresses Kerry C: It is an accepted practice among the ST fen I know not to dismiss a story or concept, backhanded or otherwise, but to relegate it to the status of an alternate dimension. If the reader doesn't agree with a concept, if it's not part of that reader's personal idea of what ST is all about, you call it A/U. That is how I deal with what I personally feel to be a ridiculous concept; the K/S syndrome. Disparaging comments against this concept are not necessarily extended to the people who believe in it.
- Randall L addresses Kerry C: My, my, my. I had thought you had decided to peaceably allow me to voice my opinions. But, Atlanta, GA unlike everyone else, you decided I had no right to state my beliefs in such an open forum. Well, Kerry, I have a few points of my own to make. First of all, to the charge of obnoxious I plead guilty, although I prefer to think of myself as being outspoken, brutally honest, and rather opinionated. I say for the record that I feel certain that Kirk and Spock are not homosexual lovers, that it is absurd to assume such, and that any literature based on such a premise is equally absurd. If you do not hold to these views, then it's fine by me. You are personalizing my comments rather than accepting them as opinions. It is this that I object to. Your logic for justifying your letter is the some logic of a person who voted for Reagan, who has heard someone criticizing the President, who takes personal offense at such criticism, and who responds in a nearly hysterical tone of voice. I'm sorry, but my views of K/S do not constitute a "backhanded dismissal". They do constitute diversity. Remember IDIC?... I believe that it is you who are arguing for argument's sake. I mean everything I say. I, too, can suspend my disbelief within my own frame of reference, but not for K/S literature which implies a relationship where none exists. Also, don't equate love with sex. Why is it that two men who have a deep friendship, compassion and brotherly love for each other have to consumate their love in bed with each other? No one has ever forced me to read a K/S zine, and no one ever could. I cannot be forced into doing anything I do not want to do. This is merely a pseudo-justification for your arguments. Yes, it is my right not to be reviled for finding K/S absurd. Yes it is your right to read K/S lit. But, you have no right to complain about my voicing my opinions in an open forum. You have a right to disagree with them, to state you disagree with them, but not to attack me for expressing the views I hold to. So, you watch your tongue. Pay attention to what you are actually saying. Your complaints are not justified. You are not practicing IDIC. I rejoice that you have a differing opinion from my own. but I do not rejoice in your denying me the riqht to express my views.
- Tim F addresses Kerry C: Yes, it is your right to "believe in K/S and take issue when a fellow fan disparages it"—I don't think that was in question. My friend [Randall L] does tend to seem abusive, but this is not because they "do tilings differently in Georgia"—it's because that's the way he is. I agree in principle, though, with his arguments. I do not deny any one the riqht to explore homosexual relationships in fan stories. I am not by any means anti-gay, and in fact, I feel that well-written stories can be nothing but helpful in exploring this often confusing aspect of life. However, I do not wish to be told that Kirk and Spock, as presented in the original series, have a homosexual relationship. I find only the most infinitesimal shreds of evidence to support this theory in the aired episodes, and I feel that people who espouse this theory are stretching it quite a bit. I don't think any amount of arguing will convince me that Kirk ("as seen on TV") is anything but an enthusiastic heterosexual (to a fault) and the peculiarities of Vulcan sexuality which might prevent such a relationship for Spock should be obvious. Add to this the fact that a physical, sexual relationship cannot fail to seem petty and pointless to two beings who have had the ultimate experience (on several occasions) of SHARING EACH OTHER'S MIND well, I just don't see how K/S can be.
- Guinn B writes: At the risk of loosing on myself an avalanche of invective, if I may paraphrase Dorothy Parker: "I'd rather fail my Wasserman test, Than read one more word about K/S." Admittedly, the concept never did interest me except as a novelty, when Thrust appeared on the scene. ("Wow, Ed — look at that! Pictures and every thing!") for sometime now, though, the argument between the K/S'ers and the non-K/S'ers has been stuck at the level of "no-they-don't-either," answered brilliantly by, "yes-they-do-too." GEEZ, guys — give it a rest, awready, huh?
- Maggie Nowakowska, among other things, compares the hostility of ST fans to SW to SF fans behaviors and attitudes to ST in the not-so-distant past: Well, I see ST fandom as represented in the LoCs has finally followed the righteous trail and found the holy grail of fandom as writ in SF fandom years ago. ST fans began the trek beleaguered and beset with insulting SF fans who resented "Trekkies" at their cons, but with persistence, intelligence, and orneriness, ST fans hung on and now there are ST episodes at world cons and ST panels. The fans who stayed with the cause are Grand Old Ladies today, with the scars to prove it. But there was one last lap to do and I see by the last INTERSTAT, actually a number of the last INTERSTATs, that that measure has been conquered at last. I speak of the wonderful world of FAAndom, where it matters not so much what you are a fan of just so long as you toe the correct ideological line and are willing to defend every last blessed word you write in vitriol to match the offensive and for the umpteenth time. SF fandom has been split between Faans and Fans a long time; now it's ST's turn. More and more letters to INTERSTAT are more concerned with berating someone who disagreed with the letter-writer, or did not worship at a particular star's/idea's feet; every issue also seems to hold the obligatory dig at SW (was someone taking notes during the early years of the SF vs ST battle?) . "Do unto others as others do unto you" seems to be the popular ethic. Instead of remembering how SF fans reviled ST's supporters, ST fans lash out against anyone the same way; instead of merely saying, "Look, I disagree and if you can't use civil language, I bow out of this argument" and then going on to a new topic, the writers seem bent on proving they can be as unreasonable as the folk they complain about, when the reaction to a new INTERSTAT is, "Were there any non-hysterical, non-violent letters?", instead of "Were there any way-out letters this time?', folks, we have got a problem.
Interstat 57 was published in July 1982 and contains 18 pages.
- art by Michael Verina and Elaine Batterby
- M. S. D comments on the movie: There were so many wonderful moments in "The Wrath of Khan" it's hard to know where to begin. I do know I loved the humor. Trek has always been rather like Shakespeare—something for everyone: humor, drama, pathos, love. The humor here is built on the audience's long standing familiarity with the characters. When Spock says, "Jim, be careful" and McCoy answers, "We will!", it brings the house down every time. Kirk's reaction when Spock lets Saavik take the ship out of dry dock is marvelous. Everyone had wonderful moments, and there has been spontaneous applause from special fans for each individual character each time I have seen the film....
- Joan V comments on the movie: I have been watching STAR TREK for 16 years now (all the live-action episodes, all the animated episodes, and the previous movie), and I must say that STAR TREK: THE WRATH OF KHAN strikes me as the best one of all. (Although I, and other fans, had questions about the production of the movie, the quality of the content of the movie is clear.) As I see it, the movie's theme can be summed up by Kirk's statement at the end; "I haven't faced death. I've cheated death. I've tricked my way out of death and patted myself on the back for my ingenuity. I know nothing." It's there in the Kobayashi Maru test (I'm glad I knew beforehand that it was only a test!); it's there during the first space battle, as Kirk outwits Khan to escape certain death from a second strike; it's there in the discussion in the Genesis cave; it's there when Spock dies ("I never took the Kobayashi Maru test. What do you think of my solution?"). It's vintage STAR TREK. It speaks to human nature in general. (Did someone talk earlier of the fear that THE WRATH OF KHAN would abandon the life-and-death themes of the '60's STAR TREK? Rest assured; it didn't.)
- Roberta R comments on the movie: THE MOVIE! Ah, yes! This is the one they should have made three years ago...but they didn't, because Mr. Roddenberry had a story he wanted to tell. Alas, Our Great Bird has one small flaw: he hates violence so much that he refuses to tell a story that involves violence, ergo, ST:TMP pitted the Enterprise against what was essentially a bloodless enemy. This time around, we have ACTION and blood...and some real Human emotions being dealt with by Humans. V'Ger was all very well as an intellectual exercise, but Khan Noonian Singh is a marvelous, scenery-chewing villain in the grand manner.... As for the so-called "Death of Spock" — If you are going to land someone who has been filled with radiation on a planet where there is a "Genesis Factor" ....you had better be prepared for the Rising of Spock.
- Susan H comments on the movie: It feels like I've waited an age for a movie of this quality. I guess I couldn't get enough, as I saw it twice the weekend it opened. I am surprised that the theatre hasn't floated away with all the tears I shed. To watch Kirk... the helplessness, the deep, intense pain, the friendship he felt, the love!
- Brian G comments on the movie: I would like to say a profound thank you to all of the people who did us proud with this movie. feast of images, from the first frame to the last. There is the old spirit of the show that was somewhat lacking in the first movie. Everyone in the cast turned in a sterling performance that was true to the ideals and the characters that they have created. It can truly be said that STAR TREK LIVES.
- Barbara P. G comments on the movie: Perhaps I am hard to pleas, but in spite of some good moments, I did not like ST II, for many reasons. I was gratified that it was not as inane as the Star Trek movies; it was refreshing to see battles won with brains, brains, not neon tubes. And there were mercifully few of the pointless, purposeless action shots of people running down corridors, and so forth, that these movies abound in, and no adolescent, cow-eyed love scenes, and other sexist nonsense. The fustian, and much over-expounded "moral" to this movie, is how one deals with death, and its relation to life, we are told—again and again.... ST II was marred by bad taste. Spock's death scene was absurd. Perhaps other audiences would not be as sophisticated as mine was here, but I even recognized a number of adolescent voices amid the laughter at Nimoy's terrible acting, his lurching and shirt-tail pulling, although there was dead quiet throughout Kirk's concern and grief. Perhaps it was more the director's fault in this scene, since the acting of the original crew, particularly Shatner, was excellent, also that of Montalban, and Khan's right-hand man. On the other hand, Besch, particularly Butrick, and disappointingly Kirstie Alley, were thoroughly unconvincing. I sincerely hope we've seen the last of them. Anyway, do we really need ANOTHER Vulcan-hybrid with an identity crisis? Another example of execrable taste: "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipe, and out of tune, too—my audience "Aaarrggged!" and "EEyucked" very audibly at this point. The musical score was too bad to be called "forgettable", and was positively intrusive at times, very unpleasantly so. More bad taste: Can you imagine a taped scientific proposal being presented the way the Genesis project was? The scene on the bridge after the funeral was impossibly bad. It grated when McCoy said, "He's not really dead, you know...(long pause)...not as long as we remember him," which only resulted in further trivializing an already ill-conceived death scene. Worst of all, would Kirk say, right after Spock died, "I feel so young again!" it is absolutely unswallowable!
- D. Booker comments on the movie: In fact, the only faulty note in the whole sequence of Spock's death is the choice of music at the memorial service. I like the idea of Scotty play ing his pipes as a final personal gift to the man who was his friend for so many years—BUT—why pick such a hackneyed tune as "Amazing Grace", which is not even a proper pibroch? I am sure that out of the vast repertoire of bag pipe music that exists, something more appropriate could have been chosen. Either "The Flowers of the Forest" or "Lament for the Children" would have been better choices. But I suppose that the Paramount people felt that it had to be a tune that American audiences would recognize and to blazes with authenticity. Unfortunately, the effect is anti-climactic in the extreme and here at least produced only embarrassed titters in an audience that had until that moment been completely absorbed by events on the screen.
- Judith G comments on the movie: The Movie was what they said it would be. It was wonderful to see the characters really there again: living, breathing, growing, interacting. Shatner's performance alone was stunning, probably his best ever in Trek. I could forgive even the tired schtick of the long-lost illegitimate son because his handling of those scenes was so superb. The Movie should inspire a renaissance of fan fiction of all persuasions (especially K/S, I would assume).... A couple of little things. I can't believe Kirk would live in a place that looks like a nouveau-riche petit bourgeois nightmare. I hope for a sequel in which Kirk meets a new interior decorator. We all agreed that Khan's people standing around the bridge looked as though they were straight out of Leslie Fish's art for "The Weight".
- Brian J comments on the movie: I was not particularly anxious to see Mr. Spock die, but now that he has, I would like to offer this plea to Paramount and Co.: please keep him dead. That may seem like an infamous thing to say, but since they decided to kill him I would prefer that they remained realistic and kept him dead. I for one do not want a repeat of Obi-Wan Kenobi nor do I wish to see Spock reincarnated as a fern on the Genesis planet.
- Lynda C comments on the movie: Oh, it wasn't perfect. Being a Hollywood SF production, I suppose we HAD to have those engine and explosion noises and fires in airless space, where neither could really exist- Also, I could have lived long and happily without ever seeing those nasty ear-wig/armadillo/slug beasties crawling in and out of people's ears. Yeccch. And Ricardo Montalban's performance was definitely in the realm of "Khanned Ham"; I think I'll take some mustard and rye bread along next time in order to get full benefit from it. And, since I haven't yet read the novelization, I'm still somewhat at a loss to explain why everybody referred to the curiously round-browed Saavik as "Mister" — Kirk's eyesight wasn't THAT bad! But, on the whole ... I loved it. It was both good drama and good Trek....I was all prepared to go through several hankies if Spock died. I didn't...except when Scotty started in on the bagpipes.
- Rebecca H comments on the movie: That send-off was something, too, with Scotty paying a final farewell and salute, playing Amazing Grace on his bagpipes. The song was originally written for the bagpipes and sounds awful on any other instrument. But the pipes lent a haunting quality to the entire tableau.
- Daniel W comments on the movie: If the ENTERPRISE represents different lifeforms and beliefs, why was the Christian psalm, Amazing Grace, played at Spock's funeral? I doubt that Spock was a Christian.
- Gloria-Ann R comments on the movie: I may be the only fan to do this, but I am not accepting this new movie in my ST universe. What ST-TMP II? Is it too unrealistic to not accept one work of fiction while accepting others? I will not participate in accepting the death of as superhero. Some people wouldn't count ST-TMP I, some zines won't take any kill-em stories. To me this movie is unreal, I count it as a good fanzine story. It was well made, they had the characterizations right, an action plot and an excellently sad and heroic ending. I will not see it a 2nd time, and not just because I cried through the whole last part. Real people die, I accept that, but not my favorite fiction character, never! Spock was the reason I got into Trek, he could well be the reason I leave.
- Sylvia K comments on Don H's earlier example of how K/S isn't believable, or palatable: I loved your Gunsmoke analogy in I#56, but you missed a great bet. What about Festus and his mule? Eccentric? Or just good friends?
- Sylvia K also directs a comment to Barbara P. G's remark in a con report for UFP Con in which Barbara refers to Shauna's overlong nails: You have complained in past issues of INTERSTAT about personal attacks on you, yet I have never seen so personal—nor so tacky— an attack as the one you leveled at poor Shauna in I#56. I don't know poor Shauna, but I don't care how much her nails (toe? finger?) need trimming, it is neither polite nor proper to refer to this in a public forum such as INTERSTAT. If this is a private joke between the two of you, then it has no place in INTERSTAT. And if it is not a private joke, then it makes the letters directed at you—including this one—seem like love notes in comparison. 
Interstat 58 was published in August 1982 and contains 22 pages.
- art by Mike Brown, Ann Crouch and Sat Nam Kuar Keahey
- Anne E. B has come to terms with the movie and asks another fan to do the same: Before I went to see Wrath, I was very angry with Paramount over the handling of the Spock controversy. But I decided that for my own sake I should try to put it out of my mind when I watched the movie. I succeeded right up to the scene in the engine room. Then the bitterness came back. It did not, however, prevent me from seeing, in a detached way, the masterful acting there. The second time I saw Wrath, I stayed with it all the way, and let the tears fall where they would. Anyway, all this is my way of saying I can under stand where your harsh words are coming from. I just hope you give the movie, and yourself, another chance.
- Carol F sarcastically addresses another fan: Barbara, Barbara, Barbara! You never cease to amaze me with your calm, sensitive, judicious, mild-mannered, fair-minded, amiable, friendly, easy and temperate way of expressing your opinions. It's not that methinks you protest too much, but that your gross aggressiveness in putting forth your thoughts on every issue must be calculated to aggress everyone within hearing (reading?) distance. I must say that your letter in I#57 amused me immensely, and I thank you for that spot of hilarity in an otherwise pleasant, friendly issue. If I ever need some good negative adjectives or blunt invective, I need only refer toy our letter instead of a Thesaurus.
- Judith G writes of the movie: ...it was interesting to see some readers rate TWOK as among the best — or even THE best — STAR TREK ever, given the fact that it wasn't science fiction, didn't even try_ to be science fiction. Please don't log this letter as a vote in the "science fiction ideas" vs. "character interaction" debate that raged in INTERSTAT before the movie was released. If I have to choose, I'll choose the Trek characters. I thoroughly enjoyed TOOK and I'm voting heavily for it with my feet. But the old Trek didn't make me choose between wonderful character interaction and solid science fiction ideas — not at its best, and not even at its middling best. If TWOK is the best ST we're likely to get, so be it. It's a helluva lot better than what we could have gotten. But I still leave the theatre each time with a twinge of regret and nostalgia for the old Trek. I just can't trade my (science-fiction) inheritance for a mess of photon torpedoes.
- Bobbie H wants Spock back, no matter what: I am one of those who maintains that Spock should not have been killed in the movie—not for the sake of drama, or publicity, or any other reason. And now that the deed has actually been done, I'm hearing people (fans?!) who say that Spock should NOT be brought back! Prom what I can gather, the idea is that the revival of Spock will somehow cheapen and make worthless the sacrifice he made when he saved the ship; that by resurrecting one who is supposedly dead we are "cheating death" once again. Well what in the hell is wrong with cheating death? Isn't it preferable to being dead? And I might also add that the Cheating Death Syndrome is extremely aired-Trekish. Yeah, aired Trek, remember? I don't care how they bring Spock back, just so long as they do bring him back. Give me a Melkotian illusion! Give me a neural paralyzer disguised as a tri-ox compound! Give me a quickie Fabrini cure-all! Give me the Nomad Repair Service! And yes, give me Spock, alive and in one piece, wearing luminous Obi-wan Kenobi robes if that's what it takes!
- Bev C writes of Spock: The big question, of course, is Spock's death, and I'm one of those who believe that now that he is dead, he should remain dead, for several reasons. The first is that bringing him back to life would negate the theme of THE WRATH OF KHAN and counteract everything Kirk has learned; it would also negate part of the meaning of Spock's sacrifice, and essentially, cheat the viewer. Spock's death in a way came at an appropriate time for him: he has apparently fulfilled his main life problem, the integration of his human and Vulcan halves, and reached an equilibrium within himself. And, although he has no physical children, he will be followed and his lessons remembered by his pseudo-children, the cadets, and his protegee-cum-spiritual-daughter, Saavik. He died in a meaningful way, to save his ship and his comrades ("greater love hath no man...") and he wouldn't consider that death pointless; tragic, perhaps, but necessary. In a story sense, he's also no longer suited, because he has integrated the two sides of personality, to be a living commentary on human affairs, which was one of the character's purposes in the TV series.
- Jane W writes of Spock's death: The character of Spock led me to love Trek, and to me Trek and Spock are inseparable. Aside from fanzine stories, I cannot conceive of, nor will I accept, the death of Spock as part of the "real" or mainstream Trek saga. I will accept ST II as a good fanzine story and no more. Of course, characters have to grow and change. But killing the most popular character in what has become a media legend is an unconscionable outrage... When we first heard that Spock might die in this film, I told a friend who was upset about it that it didn't matter so much what Paramount did, because the fans would keep Spock alive anyway. Now, having seen it on that huge screen, so real, I know it does matter, fan dedication or not, and I feel just as outraged as my friend did earlier.... Anyone else out there feel like I do? I was very surprised at the number of letters in the last INTERSTAT that said Spock's death was tragic, BUT the movie was great anyway. I just can't force that kind of separation of my feelings. I just couldn't enjoy ST II as a whole or in part, feeling Paramount had managed an exquisite betrayal of fandom this time, manipulating Trek and our feelings in favor of the Almighty Dollar.
- Terry S writes: Because my letter in I#57 (written in the, immediate afterglow and exhilaration of viewing the movie) was an enthusiastic tribute to STII, this letter is probably going to sound a bit contradictory. It's not meant to be I sincerely did love the movie. I_ still do. Unfortunately, those creeping doubts keep coming back. The movie's a hit, a box office success. That's fact. Still, once more, I'm worrying about ST's long range future. Mr. Bennett, in my opinion, has proven himself. He did a terrific job; wrote a great script. Even the death scene was right. But at what price? Spock's gone! He's not missing, exiled or transferred. He's dead! DEAD! Was it my imagination or were we given a movie (and a novel) that preached to us to "face reality", "accept death", "GROW UP"? Then they turned right around and told us "Spock Lives". Frankly, and even though I did truly appreciate the movie, I feel a bit insulted. (Am I the only one who feels this way?) A large portion of ST fandom "grew up" during the 60's. We've experienced and "faced" political assassinations, civil injustice, Viet Nam, Watergate, and much, too much, more. We've had a bellyful of "reality". ST is fiction! It's optimistic; it teaches, inspires. We need our heroes, our dreams to help us to transcend those sad "realities", we need Spock! ST! It won't be easy, Mr. Bennett, but I'm confident you can come up with an interesting, believable solution — one we can "accept" without being insulted. You can do it! Save Spock.
- Don H asks Judith G: What makes you say that "especially K/S" fiction will benefit from ST II? Where did this movie "further" the alleged K/S concept? Which scenes? I clearly recall Spock calling Kirk "his friend", not his lover. McCoy also called Kirk "his friend". Does that mean we will now be subjected to a K/Mc "gay" relationship? ST II only gave us another example of Kirk's heterosexuality in the form of yet another old girlfriend with a son, no less.
- Leslie Fish writes that she enjoyed the movie, then pointed out many flaws, and finished with a hope that more fans could be officially involved in the next film: First off, having seen it twice and read the book once, I'll say that ST-II is 100% better than ST-I. There's less hardware and more character, the action/adventure is nicely balanced with the socio-psychological interplay, the plot is intricate and original, and the thematic ideas are deep, intelligent and generally well-expressed.... [she discusses many flaws] ....The flaws in ST II stand out in contrast, like those of the TV series, because the rest of the production is so consistently good. It was hard to tell the errors from intent in ST I. This time it's plain from the fine production values that somebody (]'accuse Harve Bennett) has bothered not only to study the original series in detail but to actually listen to fandom and learn what this specific audience wants. That alone makes ST II a milestone in the history of movies. Dare we hope this successful feedback will go further? Would it be possible for fans to send ideas for future ST scripts to Paramount, and those accepted receive a Writers'- Guild-approved stipend and honorable mention in the credits? What about fans skilled in model-making, set and costume-design, and Special Effects? Fandom contains a gold-mine of talent, skill and dedication; is there any good reason why the ST production crew can't make use ot it? I see potential here for an unprecedented breaking of the barrier between artists and audience, which could be of incalculable benefit to both. Whichever way it goes from here, ST II stands as a creative turning-point as well as a just plain damn good movie.
Interstat 59 was published in September 1982 and contains 18 pages.
- art by Heather Krause
- this issue contains a letter from Harve Bennett, an excerpt: To you, to INTERSTAT, and to all the incredible STAR TREK tans who have been so generous in their praise of our work, my deepest thanks. Your post- opening edition is a collection of opinions I will treasure always. The level of perception of the inner meanings of the picture (sometimes intentional - sometimes not) staggers me. What a privilege for a filmmaker to have an audience that pays attention. I wish I had time to answer each of the hundreds of questions perceptively raised (and also to look stupid on a few questions I don't have the answers for).... Please publish this. It will be my way of thanking thousands of people I have been unable to personally reply to. And publish it for another reason: I would like it known to all who read this that it was here, in these pages, a long, lonely time ago, that a voice of reason first surfaced amid the wailing of the lost tribe, and said: "Cool it, guys. Let's give the new kid a chance to show what he can do."
- Gail P like the movie a lot but had this complaint: My negative comment is probably petty, but it annoyed me nevertheless. Why, oh why is Scotty's engine room always inhabited essentially with males? How discouraging! ... I am sick of seeing women portrayed as communications officers and nurses and such. Don't mean to be a libber, raging or otherwise, here, but I need some figurative role models as well. Surely by the time of TWOK things have be come a little better integrated?
- Victoria C and Barbara L. S comment on Spock's death: After all the tlme, effort, and agonizing fans went through to ensure the slight qualification of the ending of ST:TW0K — this loophole which even critics (not notice able for noticing anything where ST is concerned) saw as a possible "way home" for Spock — you would undermine it all for the sake of death's dignity? Spock's dignity is inherent in the being he is. It was there in the series; it was there in both films; it will be there again in his living presence in ST III (if we don't manage to give Para mount the idea that we don't want him back!). Of course we all have different views; of course we all see ST from different angles; but, to paraphrase Bill Shatner's words at the Ultimate Fantasy in Houston: "I think that Star Trek without Mr. Spock would not— not be Star Trek, but it wouldn't be as good Star Trek."
- Mary Ann D writes: I did enjoy most of TWOK, but I can't understand how those of you who claim to like science fiction can say in the same breath that the huge scientific holes in the plot don't matter. ST has always been science fiction, not antasy. Fantasies, like STAR WARS and SUPERMAN, make their own rules; as long as a given fantasy abides by the rules set up, it's as atisfying self-contained universe. SF, on the other hand, works by extrapolating logically from known science (excepting minor conventions such as faster-than-light travel). TWOK fails here — whether in large ways, by ignoring a missing planet, or in small ways, by having the shot-away nacelle of the Reliant burn for minutes where there's no oxygen.
- Laura J. J also writes of the movie: Actually, I adored the movie. I've seen it 24 times, and get something different out of it each time. And Kirk's actions were totally in character. (As was the whole movie. I loved a mellow Spock.) I hope STIII can live up to my recently-raised expectations.
- Ginny T writes of the movie: And, at the risk of being castigated (again) — which seems to be the primary purpose of this publication — I'd like to throw out another rumination concerning Spocks return/abrogation. I'm one of those who quietly opposed Spock's death (I didn't write vindictive letters or threaten to boycott the movie — incidentally, just how successful was that movement?) and I'm finding it exceedingly difficult to imagine his resurrection. Believe me, I would like to see him in the next movie — I'm a dedicated Spock fan. But his re-emergence is going to have to be, for me, nothing short of miraculous. Eventually, even in science fiction people die; and however noble the intent, I think Spock's return, if handled badly, will evoke more fan vehemence than has his death!
- Barbara P addresses a number of people, including Don H: WHAT has my movie critique got to do with K/S??? You well and truly managed to shove your foot into your mouth up to your hipbone this time! You can go through every issue of INTERSTAT with a fine-toothed comb and you will not find any statements of mine concerning how I feel about K/S, pro or con. I have made a point of saying nothing about it — I've heard it all before, many times, and I'm BORED with it. If you think you know how I feel about K/S, you have obviously been peeking into the wrong kind of zine. Please pick your arguments with someone else; I am not interested.
- Shirley Maiewski has an announcement: Dear Star Trek friends: It is with great reluctance and sadness that theS TAR TREK Welcommittee is announcing that it is having to discontinue its newsletter, A PIECE OF THE ACTION. The final issue is now out, and subscribers whose subscriptions have not expired are being sent checks with their final issue to cover the issues remaining.... APOTA, as it is fondly known, was first designed as an in-house organ for the volunteer workers of SW, to keep thee informed as to what was going on in Trekdom. After a short tine, others heard of it and wanted copies, so it was opened to the other fans by subscription. APOTA was published for almost 10 years, and it is hard to let it go. However, it has been getting more difficult to obtain correct information and even harder to keep ahead of the professional media. These reasons and difficulties with publishing and higher and higher costs of printing and postage have finally led us to the decision to end APOTA, much as we hate to do so.
- Mary Lou D, in a letter titled "Beach Blanket Trek -- Or... Who was That Old Guy in the Admiral's Uniform?" writes: I've seen the movie and read the book, and dissatisfaction has grown with each. What we have is the film equivalent of a fanrine story, enthusiastic, but not quite right in character. I've no objection to trivial dissonances, but the distortion of Star Trek philosophy and the terrible change in Kirk's character are hard to believe! Why should the Kirk of the original series give up his reclaimed Enterprise and retire, whimpering that space is a youngster's game? It would appear that his birthday was number 49 or 50 - that's not old today, and certainly not in the future! (Our contemporary astronauts are all in Kirk's age group - youngsters don't have the judgment and experience.) In his underrated novel Gene Roddenberry gave Kirk an understandable emotional problem, one that even endangered his crew since he was capable of destroying them all rather than give up active command. That was a problem rooted in Kirk's character, and gave depth to the plot. Fear of being over 30 is a grafted-on modernday folly more common to the Hollywood Youth Cult than to the world of Trek. I suspect that Paramount wants to turn Star Trek into a kid's series. They have refused Roddenberry's artistic control, removed the subtle layerings of meaning of the original, in favor of a "Star Wars* style action, complete with a nasty villain and blood.
Interstat 60 was published in October 1982 and contains 18 pages.
- contains no interior art
- Interstat was awarded its second TrekStar Award for Michele Arvizu's column
I am still perturbed about the STMovie II. I had hoped for something to revive my enthusiasm; instead it has done just the opposite. I am surprised at how many people say that I shouldn't be upset about Spock's demise because he will certainly be back for the next movie. Where now is all that reality that the producers said we must face up to in a movie by seeing Spock die? People aren't taking it seriously anyway, for they are indeed realists and know Nimoy will come back. In protest of the unnecessary death of a favorite character and of the obvious commercialism of Paramount (they did this to guarantee that we'd see both movies) I refuse to accept this movie in my ST universe. Besides, what if Nimoy does change his mind and not bring Spock back? If Spock were dead and not to return that would end my interest in Trek, so I'd just as well forget this movie until I see how the next one turns out.
- Randi S writes of who owns Spock: I would like to see a new, younger, more loyal Spock revived — loyal to us fans, that is. (Spock will always be loyal to Kirk.) I am irritated by actors who become big stars through a characterization, then abandon the fans who made them so popular. Apparently, Mr. Nimoy is tired of the part, and the fans who made him a star. But his apparent attitude of "I don't want to be Spock anymore, but I'll be sure no one else can be either" is unpardonable. Spock does not belong to LN.
- Michele A writes: What I have come to learn is that fans cannot count on Paramount for accurate information especially about Star Trek; for some reason it's very important to the studio to keep things under wraps. Rather we must examine what the executives and the actors say more closely and assume that what is true is either the opposite or only partially explained at best. Let's not be so naive as to think that everything we see on the printed page or on ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT is the truth.
- Debbie G writes of the fanfic: As with many fan writers, my creative fires were rekindled after seeing "Wrath". But I've run into a problem: from a story already full of plot holes and inconsist encies, how can you make plausible extrapolations?
- Barbara P comments about Trekfen/non-fen's acceptance of flaws, and of fanfic: Fanzine stories are usually more accurate, at least in characterization, than TWOK. Without doubt Paramount plans to recast Trek and turn it into a kiddies' show; they have said so several times. What I wonder is how much more of this is it going to take to get most fans as disgusted as I am? According to Paramount, TWOK was supposed to appeal to the general audience—meaning kids I suppose—not Trekfen. But Trekfen are far more loyal and forgiving of inadequacies than non-Trek audiences. Quite a few on-Trek- fan friends of mine disliked the movie. One though it was stupid and carelessly done; another, whose role-model had always been Kirk, was disturbed and depressed by his portrayal: his self-centered stupidity and callousness, and particularly the existence of his bastard son.... I am extremely sceptical about any fan stories based on this movie. Second-hand filling in of plot holes is seldom successful—especially since the entire plot of TWOK depended on those very flaws. Since seeing TWOK I have found it practically impossible to see and enjoy other SF movies—"turned off" is a mild way to put it. The reception given TWOK by Trekfen has made some major changes in the way I feel about Trek fandom—all negative. I fervently pray that one of my chief pleasures—readingTreklit—is not in danger of being spoiled too. Would it be too much to hope for that the stories based on TWOK be labeled clearly as such, and put into separate zines? I don't think I'll be able to stomach them.
- Gail E. P writes: Sitting down and browsing through 12 issues (borrowed) of INTERSTAT in succession was, shall we say, an experience. At times my blood pressure rose and fell at an alarming rate. First, let me say that the zine is well laid out — crisp, neat with reduced print that remains easy to read. The covers so far have been most impressive (thank you, Mike Brown for Samuel T. Cogley. Beautiful!). All in all, a professional looking zine. As for the content of the letters...well, we do take our fandom seriously, don't we? How humbling to realize that ST fans can be as defensive, opinionated and closed-minded as the rest of the world. (Alas! Another bubble bursts.) Aside from the tendency on the part of some to go for the jugular, INTERSTAT is enjoyable because it reflects the ideas of fen who are thoughtful, provocative and humourous.
- Syn Ferguson reports on a disturbing letter: I'm writing because I think someone should let the fen know about the new attitude taken by Gulf+Western, the conglomerate that owns Paramount. STARFLEET fan club recently received a typical threatening attorney's letter from Bruce Hosmer, Associate Patent Counsel for G+W, with regard to our fund-raising project, which involves a 22" x 30" full color poster of the cover of COH. Evidently Sat Ham's beautiful art, and the professional print job led Hosmer to believe STARFLEET was a large corporation raking in big bucks, of which G+W wanted a share. That is not the case, of course, and not my point. After all these years of total disinterest in the activities (and opinions) of fandom, it seems that we're being recognized. This is the form the recognition took. Unlicensed use of Paramount's design patents can result in damages, injunctive relief, and attorney's fees. G+W demands to know the date of manufacture/sale of such items, a list of items sold, the sales price of each, the names and addresses of each person or company to whom items were sold, ditto for items purchased, names and addresses of persons involved in this "business", and plans for recalling any infringing merchandise. purchaser could find herself In legal hot water. And oven if the old rule holds true: there's no point in suing a pauper, i.e., if no profit was made, it's not likely G+W would waste time suing, there is still the possibility of damages being awarded. They wouldn't get far on my typewriter and a car largely held together by duct tape, but they have time and money to spare to prove their point—and I don't… Quite apart from legal considerations, there are ethical ones involved. "Everyone's been doing it for years" is not much of a foundation for an ethical stand in support of fanzines, but practically, fanzines and fan art, or the sale of stationary or posters is no competition at all for Paramount. It does them no harm. Quite the reverse, fans kept Star Trek alive when Paramount didn't give a damn, and they have now realized sweet profits on our fidelity. And there are literary precedents for the continuance of a heroic saga—see the El Cid cycles in Spain, for example. My conscience doesn't twinge a bit because I write Trek, or because people are willing to pay me to do it. If Paramount/Pocket Books/Gulf+Western were meeting that need, no one would, and I would write it for myself alone. Where I feel a concern is that demand to supply a list of purchasers. I guarantee it would take a court order to make me do it, and not just a demand from a large corporation…..Having corresponded with my readers, I know some of them are preacher's wives who keep their zines in the attic. It could be disastrous if they began receiving communications from Gulf+Western. It may be that after the mailing of COH I will simply dispose of my mailing list and never accept another order from someone who doesn't come personally recommended. That would make Trek underground indeed. If everyone felt that way, and if G+W does get tough, it would put INTERSTAT, UT, and FORUM out of business. What a shame, what a waste. What a loss to Paramount if new fans couldn't plug in to the exciting world of zines and letterzines and the community of fandom.
- The con was Mos' Eastly Con. She is probably referring to the panels "Erotic Literature (Airing Your Naughty Bits with Panache)" or "K/S: Do They or Don't They?"
- Referring to the 1981-10-09 front page article about the controversy over the proposed death of Spock for the second Star Trek film, after Variety had run a quarter-page ad threatening a boycott of Paramount that could cost the film company $28 million. See Concerned Supporters of Star Trek for details.
- Shauna is a fan's dog.